Volunteer Program Coordinator

Organization: Woodland Park Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Seattle, WA, United States
Job or Internship: Job

DEPARTMENT: Education Operations & Administration

REPORTS TO: Supervisor, Volunteer and Education Services


PAY RATE: $16.38 per hour


Accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting a standard for zoos all over the world. The zoo is helping to save endangered species in Washington State and around the world. By inspiring visitors and others to learn, care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future.

This is your opportunity to join the dynamic Education team at Woodland Park Zoo. Applications are now being accepted for Volunteer Program Coordinator in the Education Operations department. There is one full-time, regular, benefited position to be filled at this time.


Develop and coordinate volunteer training and general docent education programs, including overall program functions and logistical activities of trainings and programs in support of zoo-wide needs.


• Provide new volunteers with basic introduction to the zoo including its mission and philosophy, the education plan, field conservation programs, safety and emergency information and customer service expectations.

• Coordinate research, development, revision and dissemination of volunteer training support materials including natural history and conservation materials.

• Create the yearly schedule of basic volunteer orientations and other trainings, collaborating with volunteers and staff on development and implementation of volunteer training.

• Work with docent council and key education staff to develop and implement basic docent training and docent skill-building workshops/meetings in collaboration with visitor experiences.

• Develop and implement mentoring experiences for new volunteers (ambassadors) and docents.

• Collaborate with education staff on the integration of docents into education programming.

• Coordinate volunteers for all education programs requiring docents, including requests from other departments (e.g. docents for special requests and events).

• Monitor docent and zoo ambassador requirements such as hours and program participation.

• Work with appropriate staff to coordinate Contact Area volunteer recruitment/scheduling, farm animal socialization, and animal-feeding guest experience.

• Work directly with and take responsibility for volunteer committees such as docent council, docent training committee, and new volunteer mentor committee.

• Track volunteer statistics, calculating monthly/yearly volunteer contacts with visitors.

• Work in close team relationship with other volunteer coordinator to share overlapping coordination efforts such as providing day-to-day volunteer supervision and support, providing clear communication to volunteers, and assisting with quarterly and annual recognition events.

• Support team supervisor in maintenance of internal and external partnerships.

• Perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

• Ability to lead and be a positive role model and mentor for staff and volunteers.

• Possess strong organizational skills and be able to meet deadlines and suggest and deal with changes in operation protocol.

• Ability to work independently and manage projects with minimal supervision.

• Ability to create and lead processes related to collaborative program development and coordination of team members.

• Ability to develop and present creative, mission-driven programming to a wide variety of audiences.

• Possess general knowledge of zoology, ecology and conservation.

• Ability to regularly work a non-standard/flexible schedule that includes weekends, evenings and holidays.

• Ability to drive an electric cart.

• Commitment to the mission of the zoo and the institution’s Core Values.


Bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.) in natural science or environmental education from an accredited four-year college or university; and 2 years related experience and/or training in volunteer coordination; or equivalent combination of education and experience.


• Valid Washington State Driver License

• CPR/First Aid Certification.


Proficient and experienced with Microsoft Office applications; particularly Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Must be able to work with customized databases and technology, and conduct Internet research.


Must be enthusiastic and customer-service oriented and able to deal with clients in a courteous and professional manner. Must enjoy working with the public including diverse populations and people of all ages.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 35 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds while handling, lifting, and storing program supplies, kits, and bulk food supplies. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to sit. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl while setting up displays, transporting class props and materials.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is frequently moderate to loud.


Applications are only accepted online through our Jobs page at www.zoo.org; no other forms of application will be accepted. Cover letter and resume are REQUIRED when applying for this position. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.


Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.